Taking care of our customers, treating people well, innovation and producing quality rescue gear that makes rescues safer and faster for those being rescued, and the rescuers. That has been our focus for decades, and will continue to be our focus. Frankly, that list reflects why the acquisition of Cascade Rescue Company by Harken Industrial made a lot of sense. And, guess what? We’re at the one-year mark! Yes, February 1st marked the anniversary of the acquisition. And, let’s just say it has been a year filled with great things, despite the great majority of the year being a pandemic.
Why We Joined Harken Industrial
A like-minded philosophy is important in any relationship, and beyond important in an acquisition type scenario. As talks got deeper with the Harken Industrial team, we learned just how much of a “like-minded” philosophy we shared. Taking care of customers and exceeding their expectations, making the best products possible at a fair price, treating our people well and never forgetting the difference between right and wrong. Both companies shared this philosophy, and still do today. These premises, by the way, were tested countless times over the past year due to the strain and stress of the global pandemic that took its toll on so many people worldwide. The team at Harken Industrial have been there for us, and our customers, every step of the way. Although its probably not the best way to start a partnership, living through that chaos with a strong partner offers a lot of reassurance.
A Few Accomplishments From The Past Year
It’s only been 365 days, but a lot has happened in that time frame – a lot of positive things that directly benefit our customers. For starters, our manufacturing and engineering capabilities have expanded, which has allowed us to bring new products to the market faster…. without skimping on quality. For example, we recently launched the Cascade Rescue Hang Glider, which is a compact version of our Cable Glider and is ideal for more complex scenarios where the evacuee requires a lot of assistance from a rescuer.
In addition, our International reach has expanded. We are now able to leverage the Harken Distributor Network, and our counterparts in Italy are spearheading the efforts to attain CE marking in the EU. This all translates into being able to support more rescuers throughout the globe, handle their jobs more efficiently, while staying safe. We’ve also been able to add two new Canadian distributors, T’NT Work & Rescue and Groupe Montagne Explore’s (GME). These two distributors enable us to offer more support in Canada where snow seems abundant and people flock to the outdoors for the plentiful ski hills.
We’ve also expanded our aerial rescue training offerings through our sister company, Elevated Safety. Elevated Safety, acquired by Harken Industrial in 2018, is comprised of seasoned SPRAT, rope access, rope rescue, tower rescue and back-country rescue trainers (and they also live and breathe rescue scenarios daily). They’ve been supporting the rescue community for years, and have recently expanded West with a complete rope access training facility near Denver, Colorado. The Colorado team offers a variety of SPRAT and back-country rescue trainings, as well as leads aerial evacuation training.
The year 2020 also included the completion of the Aerial Evacuation Resource Guide. This updated Guide is a joint-effort between the NSAA, Cascade Rescue Company and numerous leaders in the work-at-height field. Potentially a bit overdue, but the Guide was worth the wait. It serves as the outline for aerial evacuation training curriculum, and is destined to become a key industry resource for aerial evacuation teams.
As if this weren’t enough: Harken took a monumental step forward in employee stewardship and became an Employee-Owned company (ESOP). Every Harken employee is now an owner of the company. We expect 2021 to be a year of continued excellence in customer service and responsiveness as our “owners” step into their new roles.
Although we are happy to be looking at 2020 in the rear-view mirror, we also can look upon it fondly. While challenging at times, we know that the year helped us set a positive direction for the years to come. We’re poised for growth, are continuing to innovate and design new products based on rescuer need, and continue to be ready to serve our customers and the industry…backed by a bit more horsepower.
Here's to the next year…or ten….or fifty!